When I lift, my mind sets itself against the gray weight in a Sisyphean contest. With each repetition, my Will dominates the weight as I lift it through multiple repetitions and sets. I am not the weight; I control it. Yet, I grow weaker with each lift. The effort is ultimately futile. Each lift is pyrrhic. Gravity and steel ultimately crush Will and flesh. I arrive at the point where another repetition is impossible. My flesh is crushed, but not my Will. I am not the weight. I am the Will that demands that I will return to that lift, stronger than the last time. I am not gravity and weight; I am flesh and Will.

The deadlift is brutally simple in concept. It is a matter of squatting down, gripping a heavy weight, and standing with it. In execution, the deadlift requires fitness, skill, and knowledge to derive maximum benefit from it while minimizing the risk for injury. But nothing tests and grows brute strength like the deadlift. Feet, calfs, quads, glutes, hamstrings, abs, spinal erectors, deltoids, lats, traps, forearm, hands.....and lungs...and mind are all recruited for maximal effort to lift the weight. Nothing tests elan vital like the deadlift.

“Steel is not strong, boy. Flesh is stronger. What is steel compared to the hand that wields it?”

When I run, I float across the earth a homeless interloper. Tiny in the landscape, I become part of the landscape. The wind does not blow against me, it blows through me, it blows with me. I become part of the wind all the while it buffets. My mind ceases to be separate. There is no Will in the endless repetition of steps forward. Mind and Will and body cease to exist separately from Nature. I blend with it. I cease to exist as I float across the landscape, a homeless interloper.